The Partscaster thing's getting nuts

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MikeVB, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    I fully understand "the market price is whatever people are willing to pay for them."

    But the prices people are charging and apparently paying for what amount to glorified partscasters are just getting flat out ridiculous. These things are more than a decent used car in some cases.

    And the "builders" are just coming out of the woodwork like ants. Every day or two there's an ad for one in the Emporium that implies it's by a well-known builder which I've never heard of and I've read this crazy forum and TDPRI everyday for like six years.

    I don't blame the builders...if there's a niche, nature abhors a vacuum, yada yada yada, etc. etc. It's us buyers that I'm starting to think are nuts.

    Me thinks the Emperor's naked.
     
  2. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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  3. guyskankrye

    guyskankrye Member

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    It's not cheap to build a good partscaster. I've built two (for personal use) and have spent $1200-$1500 a piece just for the parts. That's not including the time to assemble, wirer, finish, etc. Plus I didn't relic them so there is no artistic flare to account for.

    I get it though...I don't sell my Partscasters becuase I'd feel guilt asking for $1800 to cover a LITTLE bit of my time and labor.
     
  4. FallsRockShop

    FallsRockShop Member

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    I think a lot of it has to do with the availability of great parts driving procurement and tooling costs way down coupled with rising prices and ebbs/flows in quality with some of the major manufacturers. Customization is also a huge factor. Sure Fender lets you 'design your own' guitar with their new web tool, but the colors and options are still relatively limited. To get a reasonable assurance of quality and detailed customization, you're paying custom shop prices.

    I'm definitely biased because we're a player in this space, but I think that the influx of builders (or assemblers, however you choose to label it) all along the price spectrum has been a major positive development for musicians, mainly professional gigging musicians who aren't nearly big enough to be sponsored by one of the big companies.
     
  5. ProII

    ProII Member

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    Ah yes S-types and T-types for $2500. They play like butter don't you know, and the relicing is really authentic.
     
  6. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    You say "partscaster" and I say "copy guitars" but I completely agree. It seems there is some new "builder" coming out every week who is the best ever and I've never heard of them and they really aren't doing anything new......
     
  7. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    :aok great toanz
     
  8. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    These threads confuse me. What is the injury to you if a new builder wants to put together a guitar and try to charge a certain amount for it? It is harming you somehow from buying something at a price point you are willing to accept? Or is it just an arbitrary assessment on what the "correct" price of something should be?

    Just because an offered price offends your sensibility doesn't mean it's too high. If the builder sells zero of them and goes out of business, then maybe the price was too high.

    But keep in mind that price sensitivity works in both directions and not every buyer is trying to optimize their purchase on price.
     
  9. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    It's dudes talking about stuff they want to discuss, is all. I don't particularly care to engage on the OP's topic, either, but if he wants to talk about it with others who want to engage with him on it, it neither steals our wives nor picks our pockets.
     
  10. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    What distinguishes a partscasters from not? Unless you're looking at guys cutting necks and bodies on a bandsaw, some CNC machine is spitting out the neck and body. Assuming everyone's upfront and honest, what's it matter where that CNC machine is located or whether it's contracted out? What seems important are the level of hand-finishing afterwards and the inputs into the CNC work (materials, tolerances, etc.).

    To me, it's a lot of fun to put a guitar together, so if you can do that and at least break even, why not?

    It would seem like a problem if folks aren't honest about where they get their parts or how much hand-finishing they perform once they get them. Some of that's buyer beware, but it'd be nice to be able to trust folks every once in a while.

    If what bugs you is the marketing hyperbole, well, Strat copies don't have a monopoly on that.
     
  11. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    I have a cynical hypothesis that some "builders" do only relics to disguise the fact they struggle to produce pristine NOS-level nitro finishes.

    It's not easy with the best equipment, so it's got to be hard for the little fellas.
     
  12. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    Some of my best partscaster guitars I've made have been from the cheapest body(but never an esquier!) and bargain neck. Then I wait for Gotoh bridge used and used tuners or a rewound pickup. But then I dismantle and sell the parts ;)
     
  13. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I think we would have to define Partscaster first. Obviously, the guy working in his garage that gets finished CNC necks and bodies from Warmouth is assembling a Partscaster, but it's not altogether clear if the Fender Custom Shop guitars are also partscasters. CNC still spits out the bodies and necks so is it the amount of effort that's spent finishing the neck and body by the builder that separates a Partcaster from a non partcaster?
     
  14. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

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    So Fender is the only one that deserves big bucks for a strat or tele? I've seen many partscasters that put fenders to shame. Fenders are no more than assembly line guitars.
     
  15. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    Point taken, but I participated to offer up a counter thought to the overall premise of the thread, which is "the price of something is nuts."
     
  16. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    I sort of view Fender as not included in my idea of partscasters. In fact they've been remarkably lenient imo regarding partscasters and expensive custom copies...nice copies, but very derivative copies nonetheless.

    Whether the Fender Custom Shop prices are also getting crazy is a separate but equal subject.
     
  17. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    That is a very pregnant question to my mind.

    Easy to argue that Fender should be THE ONLY one making any bucks building strats or teles or any other guitar or amp design they created.

    As musicians we all certainly feel royalties should be paid for musical creations, yet I bet none of these builders that pay such homage to the great guitars of the past (that still are produced) offer any royalties to Fender.
     
  18. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Member

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    A well put together BOLT ON guitar is much more than the sum of its parts.

    The rolling of the fretboard, headstock taper, fret dress, nut work, neck pocket finishing for the tightest fit possible, bodies that have specific contours to preference, special wiring as required. All these things go into the workmanship. Sure, a Monkey could bolt a neck on a body and turn some screws, but that guitar will still suck in tone and playability. The cost of workmanship and customizing is worth it to some of us.
     
  19. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Member

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    Take a look at vintage (pre cbs) strats. The contours and radii are inconsistent, big neck gaps (with a piece of cardboard to shim the neck) and basic fret work.

    They sound and play great.

    ~JH
     
  20. jiml

    jiml Supporting Member

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    Kinda funny how we can openly discuss copies of popular bolt on offset but speaking openly about replica vintage singlecuts is taboo.

    I only bring it up because there are a surprising number of singlecut replicators out there that charge a large amounts too...
     

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